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Thread: Nepenthes lover

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    Nepenthes lover

    Hi everyone! i started out with a larger nepenthes i received as a gift. Recently i have acquired two small nepenthes burkei x hamata as well as a good amount of seed i am attempting to grow. Any information would be more than welcomed (particularly about fertilizer) from experienced growers. hopefully pictures will be up soon as well!

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Welcome.

    Nepenthes can be fertilized in a very similar manner as you would for many tropical epiphytic Orchid genera: lightly and fairly frequently. A quarter teaspoon of a urea-free Orchid fertilizer (such as DynaGro Orchid, or the MaxSea all-purpose are fine choices) per gallon applied to the potting mix once every two weeks is acceptable. Once a month is all you need during the winter months when plants slow down with the diminishing light levels. Be sure to use clean water for regular waterings and apply enough so that water runs through the pot, to flush out any fertilizer salts that might otherwise accumulate.

    The long and short of it is that Nepenthes are tolerant of fertilizer nutrients to a degree that all other carnivorous plants are not, but you do need to use ferts with caution, and gentleness. Dumping lots of nutrients into the soil will have a toxic effect, so go easy.

    A well-fed Nepenthes makes hefty pitchers:
    [IMG]https://**************************************/2014/09/img_6425.jpg[/IMG]
    Last edited by Whimgrinder; 09-26-2014 at 06:43 AM.

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    ps3isawesome's Avatar
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    so a quarter tea spoon and a gallon of water.

    can i just add the MaxSea all-purpose into my spray bottle?

    how many sprays do i give my plants? thanks!

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    For the love of Science! Dragoness's Avatar
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    I put maxsea in my spray bottle, and just spritz each plant a few times. I spray about as much fert-water as I would regular water on them at watering time.
    Jen- My Grow List: http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...00#post1154900
    "Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar."
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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ps3isawesome View Post
    so a quarter tea spoon and a gallon of water.

    can i just add the MaxSea all-purpose into my spray bottle?

    how many sprays do i give my plants? thanks!
    Misting plants with fertilizer can be tricky and it can introduce more problems than it solves. Unless you are spritzing a bit of dilute fertilizer directly into pitchers, its not doing a lot of good until it gets washed down into the soil, so you may as well just put a few drops into the pitchers and the rest into the soil, like normal plants. (I know opinions on this subject vary widely, but I'm one of those who believes most plants are not very capable of absorbing nutrients through the leaf surface. Roots and pitchers are designed to absorb nutrients - leaves are not) You also need to be aware that if you dump a lot of nutrient into a pitcher - be it in the form of insects or fertilizers - you are likely shortening the lifespan of those pitchers - maybe dramatically. So its best to go very lightly, or better still - just fertilize the root zone. (My personal opinion, of course; YMMV)

    How much? Just mist the foliage enough to wet the plant. But DON'T use fertilizer water every day - do it once a week (or less) and then use plain water the rest of the time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Whimgrinder View Post
    Misting plants with fertilizer can be tricky and it can introduce more problems than it solves. Unless you are spritzing a bit of dilute fertilizer directly into pitchers, its not doing a lot of good until it gets washed down into the soil, so you may as well just put a few drops into the pitchers and the rest into the soil, like normal plants. (I know opinions on this subject vary widely, but I'm one of those who believes most plants are not very capable of absorbing nutrients through the leaf surface. Roots and pitchers are designed to absorb nutrients - leaves are not) You also need to be aware that if you dump a lot of nutrient into a pitcher - be it in the form of insects or fertilizers - you are likely shortening the lifespan of those pitchers - maybe dramatically. So its best to go very lightly, or better still - just fertilize the root zone. (My personal opinion, of course; YMMV)

    Very true. I'm not sure why some of the well-trusted "authorities" on these plants still advocate misting Nepenthes with fertilizer. Basic plant physiology tells us that many nutrients are not even capable of passing into the vascular system of the plant when sprayed onto the leaves. Some people aren't content with that, so I suggest doing any experiment whereby you spray the foliage with fertilizer for several months and then use the same dilution as a soil drench. The results will be obvious.

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    Whimgrinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mato View Post
    Very true. I'm not sure why some of the well-trusted "authorities" on these plants still advocate misting Nepenthes with fertilizer. Basic plant physiology tells us that many nutrients are not even capable of passing into the vascular system of the plant when sprayed onto the leaves.
    I suspect we have the likes of Jerry Baker to thank for this kind of baloneyism. (The man who advocated dumping obscene amounts of beer, soap and ammonia on our lawns in the seventies! )

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    Thank you very much Whimgrinder. is the same true about the fertilizer for seeds (that have not sprouted yet)?

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